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12-05_olympics_1This month, Milton Academy hosted 680 athletes—representing 32 programs from the Greater Boston area—to compete in the annual Special Olympics track and field qualifying event. Milton students were among 250 volunteers welcoming participants, organizing races, and presenting awards.

Class II students Josh Ellis, Osaremen Okolo and Marjorie Burke—members of the Community Service Board—organized this spring’s competitions. “Planning an event that big can be hectic,” says Josh. “We’re working from 6:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. that day, but having 100 Milton students come out to help is so rewarding and lifts the burden. The football and hockey teams came out in force this year—the football players wore their uniforms and escorted the athletes in, and the hockey team helped with the heavy lifting. When Milton hosts big community service events like this, everyone is able to pitch in. Volunteering helps us take a break from our busy schedules and find a little perspective.”

Color guards from Milton’s police and fire departments opened the event while Campus Safety officer Tim Forti—torch in hand—led the Special Olympics athletes onto the field. As part of the opening ceremony, Sydney Adedamola (III) sang the national anthem and Head of School Todd Bland officially declared the games open.

The Academy has hosted various Special Olympics events for over twenty-five years, including basketball tournaments in the winter and track events in the spring. Milton’s Community Service Board members, together with Special Olympics staff, organize all aspects of planning and executing these events.

View photos by Nicole Baker-Greene (I)